I am not a happy Phileas Dogg – because I have discovered a dog who is better travelled than me. And has a constant supply of tennis balls to play with. Life is so unfair. Why didn’t Britain’s top tennis player wander in and pick me from Battersea? Why did Jane have to claim me first?
The dog I am jealous of – the bitch – is called Maggie May and she is Andy Murray’s Border Terrier. She has a Twitter account and is always braggarding about her travels and now she has been published on a blog called The Tennis Space. All well and good, Maggie – but do you have your own blog? No. I do. Advantage Phileas!
But, oh – the life she leads. Maggie May has been to Paris, where she has hung out with Pierre Djokovic. His owner is the world number one tennis player in the world. Imagine the number of tennis balls Pierre has to chase. Infinitisemal.
Fair play to Maggie, though. She might be an A-list pup but she is not one to only do what her publicist tells her and be on best behaviour all the time.
She barks: ‘Picking a fight with Daniel Nestor’s coach’s miniature dachshund in the hotel lobby on our last day in France probably blotted our copybook, so we were sent home before the tennis started.’
Pauvre Maggie May! She has been told she is now only allowed into players’ lounges if she sits in a handbag – and she won’t do that. Why should she? She is a dog and there are tennis balls around – hardly likely.
Her favourite spot in SW19 is Wimbledon Common although she growls: ‘If I’m honest I’ll be trying to keep a low profile. The place is usually crawling with paparazzi and swimming in the pond there does awful things to my hair.’
It is not all fun and games for Maggie May, however. She is not allowed into Wimbledon to watch Andy Murray play tennis. This is not a love all policy on behalf of the All England Club.
So, Miss Maggie May, if you fancy joining me to watch Mr Murray tomorrow, I’ll be in the Crooked Billet – my favourite spot in SW19. And it’s right next to Wimbledon Common so if you bring the tennis balls, we can have a sprint. Because, while your owner can probably beat mine at tennis, I’m sure I can beat you at chase. Game, set and match Phileas. Grrr-huzzah!
- Another dog-friendly Wimbledon boozer, practically next door to the Billet, is the Hand in Hand. (Shouldn’t that be Paw in Paw?) It’s 150 years old so has been around for the same length of time as has elapsed since a Brit last won Wimbledon – come on Andy – and is at 6 Crooked Billet, Wimbledon Common, London, SW19 4RJ; www.thehandinhandwimbledon.co.uk
- The Crooked Billet is at 4-15 Crooked Billet, Wimbledon Common, London, SW19 4RQ Tel: 0208 946 4942; www.crookedbilletwimbledon.com